Cloudy out for Grimthorpe glory

CLOUDY Lane is in great form ahead of his bid for a second win in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster today.

A winner in 2008, Donald McCain’s 10-year-old is 1lb lower in the handicap this year and arrives having run a solid race over timber at Haydock a fortnight ago.

He was also declared for the Premier Chase at Kelso but Doncaster is his first preference.

“We also declared him for Kelso but Doncaster has always been the plan,” said McCain of the Grand National regular.

“The Kelso race would suit him better but the ground at Doncaster will be right up his street whereas it’s heavy up at Kelso.

“The Grimthorpe looks a competitive race but he must have a solid chance.

“He’s been dropped 5lb over fences since his run in the Peter Marsh but I was thrilled with how he ran over hurdles the other day back there.

“I knew the hurdles track would be better ground which is why he ran in the Rendlesham but I didn’t think he’d run as well as he did, I was delighted.

“He’s fit and well, will love the ground and he must have a chance.”

Killyglen finished the last campaign with a Grade Two victory at Aintree and although he has failed to recapture that form so far this season, trainer Howard Johnson hopes he will bounce back on this better ground.

“Killyglen will take his chance, things just haven’t gone right for him this season,” said Johnson.

“He got badly bumped in the Hennessy down at Newbury and we had to pull him up and AP (McCoy) said he was never going at Sandown last time and didn’t even feel right going to the start.

“We’ll run him at the weekend to see if he can bounce back and we can make a plan from there. The key to him is the ground as he needs a decent surface.”

Merigo’s trainer Andrew Parker was left frustrated after his charge was denied a chance of notching back-to-back victories in the Eider Chase when last weekend’s Newcastle meeting was abandoned.

The Lockerbie handler admits the trip and ground will not be ideal on Town Moor but he has been left with little option but to let him take his chance.

“It’s been a very frustrating winter with the weather as the horses have been difficult to train and obviously a lot of racing has been called off,” said Parker.

“He ran well at Warwick last time and that was an ideal prep for the Eider, which had been the plan for him all season.

“It was very disappointing that was called off as that is his ideal race, but we’ll just have to move on.

“He likes Doncaster and has won round there before and although he might lack the class for a race like this.

“Hopefully he can make up for it in heart.”

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